“One of the young Berbers who had helped in our sand baptism gestures to the sky. ‘You, at home in America, you have T.V.’s to watch, television…artificial, right? But this…’ he says, spreading his arms at the white moon, the black screen so clustered with constellations, with shooting stars, millions of light-years trapped in one singular moment of time…
‘this is the television of nomads.’“
-Lauren West, Television of Nomads: A Name Origin Story
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A wayfaring writer with a restlessness for the unfamiliar, Lauren sprung from a family that always encouraged a nomadic spirit. Movement was in her blood, having been born from a mother who migrated to the states from the Philippines at age 14, and a father who bounced from state to state his entire adolescence. From the age of 11, Lauren lived a bi-coastal life, spending most of the year in South Florida, and the summer months in her birthplace of Los Angeles, California. While her family had taken international trips fairly consistently throughout her life, it wasn’t until Lauren had received scholarships to study abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Prague, Czech Republic, that she began to develop a voyaging style all her own. She began probing independently throughout Thailand, and then through Europe—a travel-themed coming-of-age story climaxing in a formative backpacking trip through the spine of Morocco with one of her Prague roommates. After returning home to snag her UCLA diploma and build up a few freelancing writing and editing creds, Lauren leaped out from the City of Angels to land somewhere new, anywhere, to pull those “strings of tension waiting to be struck,” a description Emerson used for the world’s countless opportunities, to ride the cultural convolutions, revel in the rhythm, and hang on every note the world has to offer. Currently, that means teaching English on the Korean island of Jeju, but despite the changing scenery and home-bases, there will always be one constant: movement.
Boy met girl almost 6 years ago and, quickly, immediately, and all at once, they became deeply involved. Ben and Lauren applied and got accepted to UCLA together, taking their free-time to explore the cultural landscape of Westwood and Los Angeles hand-in-hand, as well as nearby cities like Mammoth, Indio, and Santa Barbara. Their first international venture together was in 2012, when Ben came to visit Lauren in Prague during her semester abroad. Lauren soon passed her love for travel onto Ben, who quickly learned that travel really can be made more accessible than often believed, and doesn’t require a trust fund, exceptional luck, or wings and a unicorn to ride on. Ben, however, did certainly have some good fortune—after winning some money from a quick stunt on College Jeopardy, he was able to pay off his credit card debt. The couple then took a very frugal backpacking trip to Peru, a trip rocked heavily by protests through the Southern region that taught Ben the very valuable lesson of flexibility while traveling. Soon enough, Ben took his own trip through Southeast Asia, crossing off several countries and learning his own travel lessons. Now, 6 years after boy met girl, boy and girl have made a life together temporarily on Jeju Island as ESL teachers, spending their weekends gallivanting around this Korean volcanic island, their holidays exploring nearby countries, and every other waking second planning their many adventures to come together.